Thursday, August 04, 2005

How the heck shall we live???

I haven't written in a while, I guess because I haven't had a lot to talk about other than how my UAB dynasty is going in NCAA football.
Recently though, God's been getting the wheels in my head to start turning again. Ive been thinking a lot about how a Christian should live in the real world. I think Ive been kind of branded with ideologies about how Christians should live on a college campus, and by "how a Christian should live" I basically mean how to live an effective life as a believer. Some of what I learned Im just starting to see can carry over, the priciples anyway, the methods look a lot different. I guess the biggest thing Im seeing is that communities need Christians to be involved with them, and Christians necessarily must be plugged into a community to be effective. Nothing really earth shattering there. In college that principle was there but the community was built for you, it was kind of mindless. There are leaders organizing meetings and junk like that to foster a since of community...Then from that people begin to care about each other and then they voluntarily spend time with each other and community flourishes. I forget quickly that for the first two and a half or three years that I really didn't feel much of a sense of community at Montevallo, but the last year it was there, and the year I was there after I graduated it was there, but it didn't happen overnight it took people investing a lot of time into it.
So now the dilemma is how do I invest that kind of time in community here in Birmingham when I really don't know anyone, and there are no leaders organizing meetings so we can all meet each other. And furthermore, few people care about building community, though at a heart level they want it. I really don't have answers to this yet, and a lot of time that frustrates me. But today I got an email from a friend in Brazil who is in the same boat trying to figure out how to live as a working young adult with the mind set to invest your life. Here is a little bit of what he wrote...

"Furthermore, I have been working a lot too. It's good to work!

And I'm trying to start up a futsal (soccer) group, to play once a week. I hope this will be a good opportunity to bring people close to Christ. You know, we can involve new contacts with us, spend time together, build a spiritual friendship... or not.. maybe we will just play futsal. But you may pray for this greater purpose. God is opening some doors..."

its so good to see other people struggling to figure out what it means to give their life away to the people around them. Its more of a struggle to learn this than I thought it would be. I thought I learned it in college, maybe I did, and now I just have to figure out how to translate it, because the language of college and the language of the real world are so different. Who knows. But the struggle is good, and its been so good for me to be involved in the struggle and its encouraging to hear other people struggling too. And who knows, maybe Emerson will get to share Christ with the guys playing futsal, maybe he won't, like he said...maybe they'll just play futsal, but at any rate they will know that Emerson cares about them and they will experience a little taste of community. To me efforts like Emerson's are exactly what Christians are called to do, and the success of the efforts isn't even the important part...its the struggle.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Funny ... these are the things that have been floating around in my head, but once again you are much better at articulating my thoughts than I am. I've been wondering how the crap to have community while I'm at home, in a place where spirituality is too personal to talk about and no one is involved - really involved - in anyone's life. I have no idea how to even begin community with people who don't know what it is ... heck, I'm not sure that I really know what it is myself. My first instinct is to run back to the community that I had and cling to the friends that I had in college, and I'm not sure if that is the best thing or not. But I do know that I can't "reform" my church and help them see what community is all by myself. All that team mentality stuff is starting to make a lot more sense and take on some flesh. I need like-minded people around me. I don't see how I could ever trasnfer all of the knowledge in my head about what the body is and how it functions into other people without having someone there to encourage and help me. I'm not really sure what I' getting at, but this is super-long, so ... thanks for the thoughts, and for helping me think through what I was already thinking about.